Egan Bernal’s Tour de France defense collapses in mountains

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Ineos’ reign is over at the Tour de France.

Defending champion Egan Bernal lost seven minutes to leader Primoz Roglic and dropped from third place to 13th in the overall standings in Sunday’s 15th stage.

“I was not going well from the first climb to be honest, I was almost dropped there,” Bernal said of the first of three major ascents that came 61 miles into the 108-mile day. “It’s difficult to say how I felt, the feeling was that I was empty — I had no power.

“The other riders have been stronger than me and we have to accept that.”

Bernal’s plummet while scaling the Grand Colombier effectively ensures an Ineos Grenadiers rider will not win the Tour de France for the first time since 2014, going back to when the outfit was sponsored by Sky and led by Chris Froome.

Ineos chose not to bring Froome nor 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas to this year’s Tour, putting their eggs in the Bernal basket. Froome, a four-time Tour winner, announced before he was left off the squad that he is moving to another team after this season.

The new story: Slovenia is poised to produce its first Tour de France podium finishers and champion.

Countrymen Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar remain one-two in the overall standings after they finished one-two on Sunday, with Pogacar getting the stage win. They finished in the same time after the last 11-mile climb, but Pogacar gained four seconds in bonus to move 40 seconds behind Roglic.

TOUR DE FRANCE: Standings | TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage

“For the moment, [Roglic] seems unstoppable,” said Pogacar, a 21-year-old who finished third at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, when Roglic became the first Slovenian to win a Grand Tour. “Today, Bernal cracked. Maybe one day I can crack. Or Roglic. You never know in a three-week stage race, especially Tour. So it’s still opportunities.”

Roglic, a former world junior champion ski jumper, and his Jumbo-Visma team looked as dominant as ever on Sunday. They had five riders at the front when Bernal cracked, including rising American Sepp Kuss.

“Jumbo did a really hard pace today,” said Pogacar, who rides for UAE Team Emirates. “Some riders paid for it.”

Roglic and Bernal began the Tour two weeks ago as co-favorites. Roglic, who took up cycling eight years ago at age 22, didn’t dwell on Bernal, who went from 59 seconds back to 8:25 behind.

“I don’t really bother so much with others, who is doing well or bad,” Roglic said. “We have to keep the focus on ourselves.”

Colombian Rigoberto Uran inherited third place, 1:34 behind Roglic.

After Monday’s rest day, the the next three stages are in the mountains. The last competitive day is a 22-mile time trial Saturday, finishing with a category-one ascent.

MORE: How Roglic beat Luka Doncic

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 3:45 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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Diana Taurasi says 2024 Paris Olympics ‘on my radar’

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi said immediately after winning her fifth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo that she might try for a record sixth in Paris.

It’s still on her mind 17 months out of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“It’s something that it’s on my radar,” Taurasi told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday after the first day of a USA Basketball training camp in Minnesota, her first national team activity since Tokyo. “I’m still competitive, still driven, still want to play, I still love being a part of USA Basketball.”

Taurasi will be 42 at the time of the Paris Games — older than any previous Olympic basketball player — but said if she’s healthy enough she’d like to give it a go.

“If the opportunity comes to play and be a part of it, it’s something I’ve always taken a lot of pride in,” said Taurasi, who shares the record of five Olympic basketball gold medals with the retired Sue Bird. “When you get to my age at this point in my career, you just try to win every day. Right now this is a good opportunity to be part of this team moving forward we’ll see what happens.”

She said she would have played at the FIBA World Cup last year in Australia, but had a quad strain that kept her out of the end of the WNBA season.

“I got hurt a little bit before. I had a good conversation with Coach (Cheryl) Reeve and (USA Basketball CEO Jim) Tooley. I felt like I hadn’t played enough basketball to be out there and help,” Taurasi said. “That’s the biggest thing with USA Basketball is being able to help the team win.”

Reeve said Monday that when she succeeded Dawn Staley as head coach a few months after Tokyo, she wasn’t sure whether Taurasi would play for the national team again. That was before her conversation with Taurasi.

“I look forward to having a chance to have her be around and be, as I told her, a great voice,” Reeve said. “Obviously, the competitive fire that she competes with is something that we all do well with.”

In Tokyo, Taurasi started all six games and averaged 18.8 minutes per game, sixth-most on the team (fewer than backup guard Chelsea Gray). Her 5.8 points per game were her fewest in her Olympic career, though she was dealing with a hip injury.

Taurasi is an unrestricted free agent although she is expected to return back to Phoenix where she’s spent her entire career since getting drafted No. 1 overall in 2003.

“Phoenix still has things they need to work out,” the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer said.

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